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Bringing Voice to Teams – An IT Manager’s Perspective

30/10/2019, 9:15:33 AM | By Simon Turner, Head of Hosting Architecture and Design at Kordia

 

Looking at rolling out Microsoft Teams across your business? Already rolled it out for chat and document collaboration and wondering if it’s the right solution for your telephony and/or AV meeting requirements too?

Right now, and particularly in New Zealand, it can be quite confusing as to exactly what Teams can or can’t do, what you need to buy, and from whom.

Having been involved in the rollout of Teams, both here at Kordia and for many of our customers, I have some insights to share…

The good news is Microsoft Teams for New Zealand-based customers can do pretty much everything if you use a Direct Routing provider or SIP for Teams calling provider (like Kordia) and you have the right licences in place.

What can you get from a Kordia Teams callings solution?

  • DDIs and external calling for your staff: You don’t need “Calling Plans” or “Communication Credits” from Microsoft for this, we’re your telco, but each user does need a “Phone System” license from Microsoft for a flat monthly fee if they don’t have one already. We’ll provide the DDIs, port over your existing numbers if required, and sort you out with monthly bills and all that usual phone system stuff.
  • DDIs for your Teams Auto Attendants and/or Call Queues: If you need a simple IVR (think “thanks for calling Acme Corp, press 1 for sales, 2 for support…”) then Teams has you covered, and you can use a Kordia supplied DDI for it. Typically, you’ll then feed one or more of the IVR options into a call queue so no new DDI required, but you can also assign a Kordia provided DDI directly to a call queue if you wish.

What do you need to get directly from Microsoft?

Audio Conferencing Dial-In numbers. Out of the box your staff can run Teams meetings with each other using any Teams client (including for mobile), and indeed any external party can join one of your Teams meeting with even just a plain old web browser. But if you wish to allow staff to create meetings with DDI dial-in numbers so someone can join a meeting (voice only) using a DDI, you’ll need the meeting organiser to have the “Audio Conferencing Dial-In” licence, and then Microsoft will add their own dial in number to that user’s meeting invites. Given how easy it is to join a Teams meeting we would recommend you consider who of your staff would really need this.

What infrastructure do I need?

None, apart from end user devices and some fancy meeting room equipment if you want to take user experience to a new level. Teams will support any Skype certified equipment, and of course there are a range of optimised for Teams devices on the market already.

Microsoft supplies the Teams tenancy, we provide the SIP trunks and our cloud- based SIP Gateways – it’s that simple.

But I’ve got an on-premise solution that feels more “solid” somehow

If it can beat the availability of Microsoft’s 365 cloud and redundant SIP gateways from Kordia in different datacentres then that’s fantastic, most ageing on-premise solutions are a single failed power supply away from disaster though.

So, there you have it. Teams is a great solution for businesses who want to embrace the vision of Microsoft’s Modern Workplace or Unified Communication. If you’re still unsure, talk to the experts – they’re there to help and with many Teams deployments under their belt, chances are they’ve got the answer to your question.

 

TAGS | Voice | Teams

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